Statement on family separation at the U.S. border

We are deeply troubled by the heart-breaking images of families being torn apart at our borders. These actions go against our values of decency, respect and basic humanity. 

Silicon Valley Community Foundation is strongly opposed to the Trump administration’s recent actions to separate children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and believes that incarcerating entire families is not a solution. The emotional and physical harm of detaining a child, even when they are with a parent, is well documented and can last a lifetime. 

Parents fleeing violence who fear their children’s lives are in danger will continue to come to our country in search of safety and a better life. Attempts to deter potential asylum seekers through separation and detention are ineffective and immoral.

Our federal immigration policies should include more humane, effective alternatives to detention which include family-based case management, referrals to social services, and timely access to legal counsel. Families with valid claims should be protected while completing their asylum and/or deportation hearings.

SVCF has had a longstanding commitment to providing support to immigrants and their families in our region and is joining with statewide foundations to address reunification needs for families who have been impacted by the current separation policy at the border (see joint foundation effort)

We are a nation of immigrants who built this country and continue to make it stronger.  The children and families arriving at our borders to seek a better life should be treated with dignity and compassion.

Nonprofit Organizations Working on Family Separation at the U.S. Border and Serving Unaccompanied Minors and Families and in the Bay Area

Legal services and advocacy for children and families at the U.S. border:

  • Al Otro Lado is a binational organization that works to offer legal services to deportees and migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, including deportee parents whose children remain in the U.S.
  • The Florence Project is an Arizona project offering free legal services to men, women, and unaccompanied children in immigration custody.
  • Kids in Need of Defense works to ensure that children do not appear in immigration court without representation, and to lobby for policies that advocate for children’s legal interests. 
  • The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) provides legal support and case management services to families on the U.S. – Mexico border.
  • Women’s Refugee Commission advocates for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution.
  • National Center For Youth Law is a nonprofit law firm that helps keep children out of detention.

Local nonprofits organizations serving immigrants in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties:

To support reunification efforts of families who have already been separated at the border:

  • The Opportunity for All Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation provides grants to support the immediate needs of immigrants in our region including reunification efforts of children separated at the U.S. border from their parents.